IT was a disappointing start to the season for Mansfield-based rally team Team RallyMarshal at the unusually sunny Tour of Epynt rally last weekend.
Driver Paul Rees, a member of the Dukeries Motor Club, ventured to the South Wales-based stage rally with co-driver Bryan Hull, for the first round of the 2012 National Tarmac rally championship but came away empty-handed.
The pair started well with fourth fastest time in their class in the red and white Vauxhall Astra MK2, despite this being Paul’s first time over the twisty, narrow and bumpy tarmac roads.
However, seven miles into the second stage of the day, the clutch gave way and, despite the service crew changing the gearbox, the pair were forced to retire from the main event.
Never ones to give up and despite having a clutch issue, they managed to start the trophy rally covering the last two stages of the day.
Unfortunately, however, they were caught out on a tightening narrow right hander and bent the rear axle.
The team hope to contest the Jim Clark rally in the Scottish borders for their next championship round with a rebuilt car if they can raise the necessary sponsorship.
You can keep up with the teams exploits via their facebook page – search for Team RallyMarshal.